1. If you go for a walk in Hyde Park, your incredibly well-groomed and impeccably trained horses, or someone else’s, will go wild and start a dangerous rampage through the trees.
2. A secondary or tertiary character who suddenly reveals something personal about themselves for no apparent reason in a romantic suspense is going to DIE DIE DIE.
3. One kiss of the hero/heroine has the power to create irresistible powers of lust that cause one or both parties to toss off their clothing, even if in the corner of a house hosting a ball attended by thousands of nosy people.
4. A corollary: once the hero and heroine have divested themselves of enough clothing, or gone past 2nd base, no matter what the location, they will rarely if ever be discovered or caught, even if in the corner of a house hosting a ball attended by thousands of nosy people.
5. Laudanum will soothe the pain of anything from a minor headache to six bullets in one’s left buttcheek. And it tastes like crap warmed over, but the taste is easily masked by tea. Weak tea.
6. Despite the lack of cleanliness, the hero will survive a bullet to the shoulder, arm, buttock or leg, even after “probing for the ball” with what sounds like a fireplace poke.
7. If there is a heroine, and if there is a riding habit, there will be a feather and it will be jaunty. It is the law.
8. No matter how badly the hero is wounded, he’s always up for some serious nookie. Gut shot? Perforated lung? Brain trauma? Doesn’t matter. Wild Willy is ready and willing for the ride.
9. American girls ALWAYS have more leeway and freedom to act like slutbags, unlike their stuffy English counterparts.
10. During an age when most people didn’t bathe often, and no matter what the ambient temperature of the ballroom and the number of powdered, stinky people surrounding her, the heroine will always smell delicately of orange blossoms, spring roses, or something equally appealing.
11. The villain is the only ugly person with significant air time in the book. A handsome villain will become the hero of the sequel.
12. If there’s a gay villain, you can bet on him being a pedophile too.
13. Alcoholism and other problems with addiction can be dealt with in one, big detox session.
14. Nothing identifies a hero faster than an artfully tied cravat. But it never, ever makes him a dandy.
15. Every couple ever in the history of Regency England and following historical periods married for deep abiding love and rather flammable passion. But not one of them knows the others, because, as any matron will tell you, love matches are exceedingly rare.